Air Quality Forecasting Resumes for 2024

Air quality forecasting made its return to the region on May 1st, and the ozone season is kicking off with a reminder that the importance of keeping the air we breathe clean is at an all-time high. Millions of people living in America – including those that fall within the bi-state region’s non-attainment area – reside in communities impacted by unhealthy levels of air pollution in the form of high ozone days and increased levels of particulate matter more than ever before.  

“As we prepare to settle into the summer months when we’re at greater risk for poor air quality, the Clean Air Partnership urges area residents to continue their efforts to take voluntary steps to reduce emissions,” said Susannah Fuchs, Director of Clean Air for the American Lung Association in Missouri. “Those actions play a critical role in improving air quality conditions and helping people across the region breathe easier, which is especially important for sensitive populations like pregnant people, children, anyone 65 and older, people with existing lung diseases such as asthma and COPD, and those who work or exercise outdoors.” 

Since transportation has long been reported to have the most profound impact on air quality, making the choice to spend less time behind the wheel is an easy way to reduce harmful greenhouse gas emissions. Actions like using transit, carpooling and vanpooling, combining errands into a single trip, telecommuting, and walking and biking more to get around town all help take cars off area roads and keep related emissions out of our air. There are also many other eco-friendly lifestyle changes unrelated to commuting that individuals and businesses can consider to positively impact air quality and improve lung health, including efforts to conserve energy, recycle, reduce waste, reuse items and more.

During the forecasting season, the Partnership ramps up its efforts to inform area residents about ozone pollution levels in the region and how those levels can affect their health by releasing color-coded, daily air quality forecasts to let people know what the next day’s air quality is forecast to be and if they should alter their outdoor activities to minimize exposure to polluted air. This is especially crucial on orange or red days, which we saw an excess of this past year. Individuals can now sign up to receive the daily forecast via their email inboxes or text through the Environmental Protection Agency’s EnviroFlash air quality alert system by visiting CleanAir-StLouis.com. There, they can also access a wealth of air quality information and tips to do their share for cleaner air all summer long.

Additional air quality information and the daily forecast can be accessed by liking the Clean Air Partnership on Facebook, or by following the organization on X, formerly known as Twitter, @gatewaycleanair.